They say there’s no replacement for displacement, but Ford begs to differ. This Formula Ford racer, powered by a tuned 1.0 litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, has completed a lap of Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7 minutes 22 seconds. No three- or four-cylinder car has posted a faster time.

The 202 hp car beat 600 hp-plus supercars such as the Pagani Zonda, Ferrari Enzo and Lamborghini Aventador to record the circuit’s 11th-fastest ever lap, averaging 169 km/h in the process. Its top speed is unofficially 255.5 km/h.

And here’s the best bit: with wheel covers, lights, indicators, wing mirrors and a horn installed, the car is completely street legal. Runs on road-legal tyres, too.

Being such a small engine, fuel economy is impressive: 2.4 litres per 100 km at 56 km/h and 5 litres per 100 km at 120 km/h.

In production form, the 1.0 litre EcoBoost is an engine choice on the Ford Focus, where it can be had in 99 and 124 hp versions, delivering fuel consumption figures of 4.8 and 5 litres per 100 km respectively. It was recently crowned 2012 International Engine of the Year.